By Ryan Keating-Lambert
SPOILERS everywhere. Look away.
After a disappointing last few episodes, the finale got the ball rolling again, but unfortunately it all came a bit too late. Still, some wonderful performances and very creative art direction.
So it all began with the wonderful story told by the silk-weaving Mr Nancy, whom we hadn’t seen since his ‘Coming to America’ story on the slave ship quite some time ago. The man tells a good story, and he tells another one here… about another god whom we hadn’t heard from in a while.
Bilquis (Yetide Badaki) lights up the screen in her origin story here. Everything you’d expect from the usual American Gods visuals are present. Impeccable cinematography, vibrant colours, and stunning costumes, especially in the orgy scene. There was also no shortness of confrontation with social issues like HIV and even the dating app craze gets a say. Bilquis has been adapted well for the small screen. Can’t wait to see even more of her.
However, does her confrontation with Technical Boy tell us that she has to eventually seduce and kill Shadow? As Mr Nancy so accurately puts it, ‘there are worse ways to go’.
And then there’s the epic Jesus party at the Easter estate. The entirety of that final scene was carried by the god of Easter herself. Kristin Chenoweth, who was also in creator Bryan Fuller’s Pushing Daisies, was superb in the role, bouncing off the whimsy and flair of the candy crush world around her, and also speaking to rabbits. What’s not to love about this character? Her prestige-like move was a proper game changer – a clever little piece of television. VFX on point…
The same however, cannot be said about Wednesday’s (Ian McShane) big ‘coming out’ as Odin. The effects looked a little cheap and it was all rather anti-climactic. Hasn’t it been obvious the whole way along? There was that first scene of the first episode… and the crows… multiple hints!
The sudden and jagged matrix-like appearances of the new gods was also an absolute pleasure, as was Brian Reitzell’s accompanying circus tune. Gillian Anderson takes over the screen as Media yet again, while the mysterious Mr World (Crispin Glover) seems to still dabble around in the background. These are powerful gods, but when are we going to see that power?
And Shadow? Well, he was just Shadow.. Slow, and extremely underwhelming. Is it the character in general or just Ricky Whittle? Either way it’s not good.
So what do we know and what can we expect from the next season? We know that Laura is in desperate need of being resurrected because she falls apart. It seems that Mad Sweeney is going to interfere in the Shadow / Laura dynamic which might make things a little more interesting. In terms of subplots we’ve also got Salim on the hunt for the Jinn.
Considering Bryan Fuller has only planned three or four seasons of the series, I think he desperately needs to start speeding things up. Let’s hope that everyone manages to get to the ‘House on the Rock’ early next season. It’d be a right shame to wait for a year and get another slow and uneventful plot.